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I Heard It On The Grapevine!

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In the summer of 2003, I added a brand new feature to Credit Card Goodies - a public bulletin board system that will allow both anonymous and registered postings, but will allow for a better structure of the grapevine, and allow a free-er, more open discussion than I have provided in the past. This replaced the manual grapevine that you see here. You can continue to look through the archives here, but all of the most recent grapevine postings are on the forums.


The person saying that CITGO card offrd by citi is better then MBNA's 1% rebate card... I called Citi customer Service, the representative told me it is a 1% rebate, however, you must have at least one Citgo purchase per month. Citgo has the most expensive gas. I all ready get 5% back with AAA for all gas purchases. So, I would never get the 1% back... MBNA's Montley fool fool.com card offers 1% on everything no caps, no limits, no tears, no bs... so it is really awsome.

To the person bashing PayPal. For one thing it is a MasterCard therefore all the disputes, fraud, etc is by MasterCard guidelines. Second the card is actualy issued by BankONE and is property of BankOne (says on back of the card). (You say - it is a private company??? Not so... it is owned by EBay which is listed on the stock exchange) btw - any bank is a private company. It is kind of like a debit card, you transfer funds to PayPal (which in addition to everything else earn interest) each time you shop you get a rebate. You must be a Premire Bussiness member, which means that you have an established Ebay account and willing to accept payments via PayPal. There is no fee for using this service. The only time you have to pay is if you sell something on Ebay and some one sends you money for the auction via PayPal. Other then that there is no other problems. I have had this for at least two years, but do not use it often since its not a credit card! , does not report on your credit reports.. you do not have to have to have a sertain number of auctions at PayPal or anything like that. It asks for your social security number?? doesnt every credit card company ask for that??? I have not sold anything at ebay for at least 2-3 months and still enjoy 1.5% rebate each time.. Also you cant use PayPal's billpay option to pay one credit card with another - does your billpay offer that? if so let me know I would love to pay my one card with another and for it not to be considered quasi-cash. Regarding the "Freezing" of the funds, the only time that can happent is if someone from Ebay pays you with fraud funds, and they do not freeze your entire account just the portion of the fraud funds you have. Dispute investigations - it is common for "Check and Cash" and "ATM Debit" cards to wait until the dispute is resolved before they give you your money back (Washington Mutual does this).. so do not bash paypal if you do not know what yo! ur talking about... better yet, dont use it - I want all the ! rebate to my self.. if too many people have it, they will cancel or change it and make it bad...


MBNA began offering a deal through Fidelity Investments. They give you a Mastercard with a 2% rebate on all purchases. It gets deposited into a Fidelity 529 account. It is good if you are saving for college for someone anyway.

Fleet has changed its Cash Back card. I got an undated letter a few days ago -- July 3? Looks like they have capped the rebate at $400 if you spend $40,000. So a much worse deal. They say it's better because you can redeem $ sooner.

Here's my opinion on the most convenient cash-back card. I look for something that will give me cash back, one that I don't have to wait to the end of the year to get the cash, no annual fee, and one that is a VISA or MasterCard (so that it's accepted everywhere). I'm currently trying out the Chase PerfectCard http://creditcardsatchase.com/portal/site/marketing/index.jsp?pgTitle=pg_perfect. It comes in VISA or MasterCard. It pays the cash back the month after it's earned credited to your account. It pays 3% on ALL gas purchases (at any station--it pays 6% for the first 90 days on gas). It pays a straight 1% on all other purchases. It has no annual fee if used at least 9 times the previous year. It may not be the highest rebate available. But, its simple and easy.

I am curious about the person who was going to do the pre-paying game with Amex Blue Cash. Have you been able to get it to work? I would have thought that finance charges would more than eat up any additional cashback bonus? How do you do it?
I took out the CC in April. So far, the additional rebates for carrying a balance have not shown up in the rebate summary I see in my electronic statement. Amex tells me there is a two month lag time before those rebates show up, so I should presumably start to see them next month. The card has a six month interest free offer, so for now, I cannot give you direct data. By my arithmetic, I am paying 0.2% (average) on purchases. BTW, just to clarify my 'pre-pay' strategy. Amex will not allow me to pay more than my current total purchases balance (not to be confused with the last statement's balance), so instead, I pay off my purchases about once a week minus a few dollars. This has confused many,! so an example from my CC: My total allowable credit is $4000. Once a week, I pay an amount that brings my available credit back up to 3995. From next month, I'll have made the third tier, and then WILL BE RIIICCCCHHHH.

As you may already know, the fleet Cash Dividend Visa card just changed its rules: 1% with no tiers, capped at $400. Per what you say, that's not extraordinary. I'll think about applying for an AMEX Blue Cash.

Oh boy! Not only is Fleet changing their program, but the information in the letter is wrong! My letter reads, "......goes into effect ith the start of your billing cycle that begins in Spetember 2003." My billing cycle ends on the 29th, so to me the changes will be effective with charges posted on/after Sept 30. Not so!! Fleet is claiming that the billing cycle which "begins in Sept" actually is the billing cycle which begins on Aug 30 and ENDS in Sept! Just one less month to get to $500 rebate, which I'm probably not going to be able to do now. Anything besides the confusing AmEx card and Discover to offer more than 1%?

To the Paypal poster -- you're either misinformed or trying to get people to sign up for Paypal so you can get a $5 referral bonus. 1. When you use Paypal's Billpay function, you cannot use a credit card to pay your bills. You can only use your bank account or existing paypal balance (which can only be funded from a bank account or through accepting payments from other Paypal users). This does NOT earn 1.5% cashback. 1.5% cashback is only earned through use of the Paypal debit card to buy stuff. 2. To qualify for the Paypal debit card, you need to become one of the "non-free" member types (e.g. you get charged a fee for accepting payments of any kind from anyone). You need to be a member for at least 60 days, sell something on Ebay at least once every 2-3 weeks, among other things. This is a VERY bad deal for anyone who is 1) selling high-end goods on Ebay or 2) not selling on Ebay or 3) gets lots of non-credit card Paypal payments. Plus you may need to give you Social Security number. I should remind everyone that Paypal is NOT a bank, is NOT regulated by a federal agency. It's a private company, and if it decides you're a fraud risk, it can at any time "freeze" your account for weeks or months while it "investigates". Meanwhile, you can't access the money in your Paypal account, and if you transferred a lot into it (to make a big purchase), you're out of luck.

Now that Fleet is a 1% card, the big question is: what's the best cash back VISA? Is 1% the max?

If you're really a big spender, you can get 2% from National City Cashback Visa http://www.nationalcity.com/promotions/creditcard/cashbuilder.asp?redir=Ad17


I use the Citgo Preferred VISA card. It pays a straight 1%. No tiers. Rebate is paid monthly with a maximum of $40 per month. No annual fee. Go here for more information: http://www.citgo.com/CreditCash/CITGOCards/CITGOPreferredVISA.jsp

I've been back through all of the paypal posts now. I'm surprised someone thought he could scam a group as sophisticated as this one. Paypal customer service has told me that no rebates are offered on billpay transactions. The original post specifically stated that he uses paypal to get a rebate by paying off his credit card with his billpay account. Assuming the standard 1% credit card, along with the 1.5% paypal, he's getting 2.5%. But to look at his post, he gets 'almost 5%'. Interesting math. I guess the hope here was to get people to apply and get his referral fee before they caught on that the system wouldn't work. Good try. A little more creativity next time would be appreciated.

If you're under the $4000/month cap, the CITGO Preferred Visa is a better straight 1% card than the MBNA Motley Fool Visa. The rebate is credited to your account every month - you don't have to wait for a check only once a year. http://www.citgo.com/CreditCash/CITGOCards/CITGOPreferredVISA.jsp

If anyone knows of any better cards please enter your input. The way I see it currently The GM card AMEX card Fleet (even with the cut in rebate) and Discover are the best cards out there That is what I currently use.

If anyone knows of any better cards please enter your input. The way I see it currently The GM card AMEX card Fleet (even with the cut in rebate) and Discover are the best cards out there That is what I currently use.

I am curious about the person who was going to do the pre-paying game with Amex Blue Cash. Have you been able to get it to work? I would have thought that finance charges would more than eat up any additional cashback bonus? How do you do it?

So now that Fleet has gone back to a straight 1%, what is the best card available? Is it the Amex Blue Cash back card?

Another question, will the cashback amount that I currently have on my Fleet account be converted to their new "points"?

I thought all of the paypal discussion seemed a bit too good to be true. The 1.5% rebate applies to using the card. According to Paypal, it does not apply to the Billpay transactions. I asked them specifically, and here is the answer: Dear XXXXXXXXX, Thank you for contacting PayPal. My name is Karen and I am an agent in the BillPay department, there is no cash rebate using the BillPay service. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.

Fleet: Is it possible with the "improved" card to get more than $400/year back because of the gas & groceries exemption to the limit? Or do the points just accumulate?

A follow up of the Fleet "exciting" new offer: Watch out for the final cutoff date for your "beloved" Fleet card. It will end at the closng date of your August bill. For example, if the closing date is 3-4 August 2003, that is it. Not in September. My two cards end in 3 August and 23 August respectively. How can I make up the $500 total I am still not charging? Buying I-bonds if you still have cash. The I-bond can receive the credit card rebate until 12/31/03. If not, offer it back to Fleet as a "Thank you but you suck" note (lol). (It is OK to change the program, but in the middle of the year with a deceiving letter? that is too much). New strategy? Not for me. I will stick with my Bank One 1% card without chasing rebates any more. I expect most cards to offer 1% from now on. No sense chasing it any more. For car buying, Subaru 3% is good with Citi's 2% for any car. For gas, 3% Chase freedom. FYI.

The Fleet Program change is NOT "Bait and Switch". You were notified in your terms that the program is subject to change at any time. (Like your late fees, apr, and everything else) You were never promissed that this program will continue for good. I dont have a Fleet card, but based upon I read you have until november. Other options - switch to a straight 1% rebate card with no max.

Yes, The points, credits and cash rebate is taxable, make sure to consult your tax advisor.

You don't have to pay tax on your cash rebates because they aren't income. They are effectively reductions in the sale prices of the things you buy. If the govt starts charging income tax, I'm sure the cc lawyers will jump on it. Are you one of those people who thinks they're making money when they buy a car and auto maker gives you back some of your own money?

Assume you have heard that Fleet has changed their cash rebate program. It will now be “Earn one Cash Dividend Point for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases”. Can redeem once you’ve earned 2500 points; 2500 points = $25 dividend payout. You can receive a dividend check or a credit to your account. Max of 40000 points. After 40k points will continue earning on gasoline and grocery purchases. Goes into effect with billing cycle that begins in September 2003.

I too saw the "more choices" thing from Fleet and knew we were going to get it in the neck. I just signed up for the Blue card from Amex. Looks like 1% rebate is about the best I can find on a Visa/MC.

Does anyone know anything about the nesteggz mastercard? This is from their web site: 1% Back on Every New Purchase With the NestEggz Loyalty Rewards credit card issued by MBNA America Bank, N.A., you can earn a 1% rebate on every purchase you make - no matter where you shop, what you buy, or how much you spend! With no annual fee and 1% back on every purchase it's a great credit card. Best of all, when you use the NestEggz MasterCard® credit card at our participating in-store merchants, you'll get up to an additional 8% on all of your purchases! Simply call or click for details about the costs and terms of this offer, and to apply for the NestEggz credit card. Shop at any of our participating retailers and you will earn a contribution toward your retirement savings! Your earnings will be collected and stored as NestEggz BucksTM until you accrue 25 BucksTM. At the end of the month in which your balance reaches a minimum of 25 NestEggz BucksTM, we will convert those earnings into US Dollars (1 NestEggz BuckTM = $1) and deposit them on your behalf into the retirement savings plan of your choice. If you have opted to receive the rebates directly, you will receive a check on a quarterly basis when your balance reaches a minimum of 25 BucksTM. In addition to rebates from participating retailers and product manufacturers, NestEggz members that also apply for and use the NestEggz Loyalty Rewards Credit Card receive an additional 1% rebate on all their purchases, regardless of where they shop. When opening a retirement savings account, please consider working with one of our preferred financial institutions to open a retirement savings plan. Please Note: NestEggz is not a certified financial advisor. Please consult your independent Financial Consultant before making any financial decisions or relying on statements made by NestEggz. Can't tell if it is better that the "so-called-improved" Fleet card. The prospect of earning more than 1% at some retailers (thought it is very few retailers) is enticing, otherwise I couldn't tell a difference.


As I predicted, the Fleet 1.6% cash rebate card is gone, being replaced with "more control, more choices, and more rewards." Now it is in fact a 1% card. I will accumulate $1,000 for my two cards (my wife's and mine) for 2003 (by September) and say goodbye to Fleet. I hate the writings of such a letter, treating consumers as dummies. Carol Myers (Fleet VP), please go to some "honesty school" to re-train your managerial style!!

The person who reported that s/he had received a notification from Fleet that the program would be improved, and who guessed that the improvement would be negative, got it right. I received the notice today: Beginning with the September cycle, More control, choices, rewards, options, time! Whoopee! Before I was offered such control, choice etc. I had: - a graduated rebate (dividend) starting at a lousy 0.25% but rising to 2%, capped at $30,500 (i.e. $500/ 1.63% rebate); - dividend points automatically credited annually in full and the clock reset. With control, choice, etc. I will have: - 1% dividend "points" up to $40,000 (i.e. $400/ 1% rebate) and thereafter on gasoline and groceries without limit (equal to or worse than a straight 1% card depending on your spending and your ability to manage your credit cards if you spend over $40k); - Choice: Points are redeemable at multiples of $25 with OPTION of check or credit to account; - Time: Points expire after 3 years; - Control: More information on my monthly statement (Whoopee); and - Choices AND Rewards: at certain times throughout the year I will be invited to red

Fleet: Now only 1% as of the September billing cycle. Good Bye Fleet!

The person who reported that s/he had received a notification from Fleet that the program would be improved, and who guessed that the improvement would be negative, got it right. I received the notice today: Beginning with the September cycle, More control, choices, rewards, options, time! Whoopee! Before I was offered such control, choice etc. I had: - a graduated rebate (dividend) starting at a lousy 0.25% but rising to 2%, capped at $30,500 (i.e. $500/ 1.63% rebate); - dividend points automatically credited annually in full and the clock reset. With control, choice, etc. I will have: - 1% dividend "points" up to $40,000 (i.e. $400/ 1% rebate) and thereafter on gasoline and groceries without limit (equal to or worse than a straight 1% card depending on your spending and your ability to manage your credit cards if you spend over $40k); - Choice: Points are redeemable at multiples of $25 with OPTION of check or credit to account; - Time: Points expire after 3 years; - Control: More information on my monthly statement (Whoopee); and - Choices AND Rewards: at certain times throughout the year I will be invited to redeem points for "name-brand merchandise" Sigh, my long romance with Fleet will end with intense focus bordering on mad abuse over the summer but ending in September when I return to 1-1/2% AMEX backed up by a true 1% card (one that does not impose foreign exchange fees) for use abroad or where AMEX is not accepted. The gasoline cards being discussed on CreditCardGoodies sound interesting.

The party's over! I just got the details of the "improved" program from Fleet. I urge everyone who got this to call and tell the customer service rep that going from a 2% rebate to a 1% rebate is not "improved"--it makes the rebate program slightly better than Discover for people who charge a lot per year. For those who don't charge much per year it may be an improvement since the rebate does not begin with a tier. And to Fleet's credit (no pun intended) they will send us checks for the rebates earned through early September of this year under the old system--they are entitled to change the rules retroactively, according to the current agreement I have and they are not doing it. But I think it is wrong for them to switch to a 1% card and call it an improvement.

Fleet: I just got the details of the *new and improved* Fleet Cash Dividend Program. Now you earn 1 point for each $1 purchase. You can redeem 2500 points at a time for $25 cash. The annual cap is 40,000 points = $400 cash. However, grocery and gas purchases are exempt from the cap. Effectively, Fleet is now a 1% cash rebate card with a $400 cap. I love how the letter makes it almost sound good that you are now getting less back.

I have a question. Is there any authority which addresses whether prizes, points and cash provided by credit card companies is taxable to the recipient? Is the credit card company required to file a Form 1099-MISC with the IRS?

I just got the details in the mail on the change with Fleet. It looks like they are going to a point system. When you accumulate $2500 in charges you get 2500 points. You can cash in 2500 points for $25.00 at any time (don’t have to wait for end of year). $400.00 appears to be the maximum annual cash back. I called for more details and was told that this change will take effect on 9/1/03. Basically this translates to a flat 1% cash back instead of the graduated 2% most of us are starting to get now. Why do these guys make these changes mid-year instead of waiting for the current year’s program to finish out? I don’t have a problem with them changing their program. They have every right to do that. But to do this mid-year is clearly “Bait and Switch”.

Alright, here's the scoop on the new Fleet VISA card. Overall, it still seems a good choice, probably even better for small spenders, but much, much worse for big spenders (like me) who use it for absolutely everything. There's a bunch of jargon change, but here's the brass tacks 1. Maximum reward lowered to $400 instead of $500. (Although you can still accumulate your 2% on gas and groceries even after you've hit the $400 limit). - This sucks. 2. You get your rewards everytime you earn $25, instead of having to wait until the end of the year. - This rocks 3. You can take your rewards directly on your credit card instead of waiting for this to send a check. - This rocks, albeit gently, like maybe the aging Stones. 4. You can select cash OR a variety of these magnificent prizes! - Oh, who gives a crap, give me the cash dammit! That's basically it... if I missed anything, I'm sure the Eagle Eyes on this list will point it out. SO, what's the verdict? Personally, if you're not hitting your max reward, just keep using Fleet and enjoy the speedier rebates. If you're like me and max out your rebates every year, then I guess you use up your Amex rebate anywhere that will accept it, while simultaneously using your Fleet card anywhere that won't accept Amex. Once you've used up both of them, I'm all ears - what's the third best card out there? Is there anything better than just a straight 1%? Eager to hear your input...

Enjoy your website. Just got a notice that the benefits for the Fleet card are changing to what looks like 1% cash back with a $400 annual max. Any thoughts and, if my interpretation is correct, any suggestions for no fee Visa or MCs that offer more than 1% cash back? Thanks in advance.

Can you provide any leads on a good credit card provider for a business. Our business processes on average $ 210,000 per month in credit card sales which all come from sales over the phone (no cards are swiped). We are currently paying our provider approx. 2.50% transaction fee and are looking for a better deal. Thank you

i have been a customer with first national credit since 12/00. i have not been able to purchase merchandise at all. i sent in my order and in return i got the order sent back to me. to those who are considering, DON'T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or you lose your money of $37.00 or $40.00 thanks

To the PayPal Poster: I know you have already stated this, but could you please re-confirm the fact that you get 1.5% back from PayPal when you use their BillPay function? I was brousing their list of accepted BillPay merchants and there are many mortgage lenders listed (including mine!). It goes with out saying the implications of cash back opportunities on your mortgage payment. (!) You know how the saying goes....If its too good to be true.

Knowing Fleet, the recent postcard is NOT good news. I am certain that the last 2% card (actually 1.67% card) will be gone in a few weeks. Just my educated guess: recall that I have made this conjecture long time ago that Fleet 2% cards will eventually be history. Certainly hope that I am wrong!

I recently received an offer from Farm Bureau for 2.99% on balance transfers If you are planning to continue using the card, it is a bad deal, because every CC deal I have EVER looked at, apply payments to the lower interest debts first.

So, could one use the Paypal "billpay" function to (thus getting 1.5% cashback from paypal) pay a credit card with a 1% cashback function of its own... making an even better deal out of the two?

How is this going to affect us? Settlement may change use of debit, credit cards http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/135050849_pfcards22.html

can we encourage people to post other "free" deals other than credit cards? I would like to know about free magazines, merchandize, etc. Let's make this forum better by exchanging notes on more than credit card rebates.

According to the paypal useragreement the following requirements apply for the Debit Card: 1) Being a Paypal Member for at least 60 days 2) Having a registered credit card where the monthly statement is sent to a physical street address and not a PO Box 3) Have a linked bank account to their paypal account and verfied control of that account 4) having openned or upgraded to a premier or business account (note-with these accounts, if anyone sends you money you will be charged a fee regardless of whether or not that money comes from a credit card) 4) upon review of the account review department deemed an active member in good standing with the paypal community. The requirements for the prefered rewards program are: 1) Only Mastercard purchases apply (PIN purchases do not) twords the rebate 2) Have at least one auction every three weeks on ebay (you will have to confirm your sellers account with paypal. 3) In these listings, you can not mention any other online payment methods are acceptable (non-online payment methods, such as checks and money orders, are acceptable). This useragreement is available at the link at the bottom of the paypal homepage. Please note I do NOT work for paypal, but I do have the paypal debit card. Although it is a useful tool for ME, what a person has to agree to to get the card and be in the cashback program may not be acceptable to all

According to http://www.farmbureaubank.com/bankserv/rewardcard.htm "Cash Advances, Balance Transfers, and convenience cheks do not earn rewards" if you have a different program I suggest you call them direct and ask.

Straight 1% Rebate- from the first transaction. No tears.... visit https://www.applyonlinenow.com/USapp/Ctl/redirect?CV_sourceCode=F7OI&CV_MC=istcctil020155

Conversion - Over 2.6 million of Citibank cardholders were sold to MBNA. The bank change is taking place in november.

Motley Fool Visa has straght 1% no caps, no fees.

Just a clarification on the posting of 1.5% cash back when using the paypal debit card: When you use bill pay to pay off a credit card, doesn't the payment come out of your paypal balance, not the debit card? I assume the debit card must be used in order to get the 1.5% cash back

Regarding the PayPal 1.5% rewards -- "you DO NOT have to list or sell a specific amount of auctions, you must only be registered." Yes, you do. From the user agreement -- "Sell on eBay at the rate of at least one auction every three (3) weeks and confirm your eBay information with PayPal."


I registered for and used a cash builder card from NationalCity for the reward of a digital camera. I mailed my information to the rewards company many weeks ago. I have not received the camera as of yet. Will I receive it or is this just a trick on consumers? Thank you for your assistance.

Ok, I originally posted the link about paypal and I see it has caused quite a bit of confusion. First of all, in order to get 1.5% back on all purchases, know that you do have to become paypal preferred. However, the only stipulation of having this classification is being a registered user of ebay (you DO NOT have to list or sell a specific amount of auctions, you must only be registered). As for me, I don't sell anything on ebay and thus have a premier business account absolutely FREE. Now as for paying off your credit card, all you have to do is use paypal's billpay function. I couldn't find a link that explained it fully, but listen, all you do is go to billpay after your're a member (remember, it's free to join) and select your credit card issuing bank. For me, I use the new Chase Stockback card and so I select Chase Manhattan (the bank that funds the card). Then I simply transfer the amount of my credit card bill from paypal. (Numerous othe! r credit cards are listed in billpay including big namers like any Discover or American Express card) Oddly enough, if you call your credit card provider they will indeed say debit cards cannot be used for payment of your balance, but this does not include paypal since paypal has its own billpay function. To be honest, it's extremely simple and I can't believe more people don't use it. The thing to realize is that you don't have to use your paypal card for any purchases other than paying off your credit card. This allows you to build on your credit by using your credit card for all of your purchases, and then you can build on your wallet by simply using your paypal card to pay off your balance. In regards to one of the comments made, I did include my referral link but that does not mean at all that this is a scam. Just go to www.paypal.com and read about it yourself. I have no other purpose but helping you all save money as I hope you all will do for me sometime as well. Now! if you're nice enough to use my referral then follow this li! nk: https://www.paypal.com/refer/pal=QXZ2G9JVMM3LU All you do is sign up and I'll get $5 (and so will you for joining by the way). If it's a problem, I'll send you half of any referral payment I get. Thanks everyone and good luck!

Re Have you *carefully* read the offer's small print ? Look, among other things, for required minimum time to keep the card in order to be eligible for the rebate. I guess I didn't make it clear. I am already a Farm Bureau credit card holder. I've had the card for over two years now. My credit limit is $25,000 (not quite the $30,000 I mentioned before). So as an existing card holder, does the rebate on balance transfers look to be a good deal?

Motley Fool Visa: Does anyone know if there is a yearly cash back limit on this straight 1% card?

Fleet: I too got the postcard stating that they are going to "improve" my 2% back card. I seem to remember a letter from Farm Bureau last year that said that they were going to "improve" the card I HAD then... If Fleet downgrades my favorite card, what then will become the card of choice (not amex)?


Someone mentioned using a PayPal debit card to pay their credit card to earn an additional rebate on the debit card. That doesn't seem to make sense to me. How did you get your credit card company to accept payment on your account using a debit card???

Amex gives you extra 0.5% or 2% rebate of the total purchases if you pay (1) more than or equal to minimum payment (like 2% or 3% of debt) AND (2) less than the debt (excluding the new purchases) on or before due date. At the same time, you need to pay Amex finance charge which is about 0.8% monthly (if 9.6% annually). So you should know it may or may not be worth it depending on your own factors – where/when you charge, and when/how you pay!

Because Amex’s average daily balance does include new purchases, two suggestions to 5% CC users to minimize average daily balance: (1) Pay as much as possible up to a little bit less than the current balance right after statement date. (2) Make new and big purchases more closed to the date you can apply payments on line. [I am not sure whether you can apply on line payments toward new purchases between due date and statement date.] However, do not make the mistake to aggressively pay for new purchases before due date, and the system considers you pay it off for earlier purchases.

One major downside to the PayPal cash back is that you must be a "PayPal Preferred" user. To become Paypal preferred you have to do the following: http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_help-ext&eloc=900&loc=899&unique_id=00539&source_page=_contact-general-submit&flow=pf_dc Sorry for the long link...In summary you have to be an active Ebayer selling items at least once every three weeks. For the avid seller, this is great, but most (including myself) don't sell enough to qualify.

The paypal debt card link post previously did not show any info regarding the 1.5% rebate. Is it wrong link or the offer is closed?

The recent PayPal posting appeared to be a more than a bit convoluted. Worse...the link was a referral so that presumably we'll be helping the poster make five dollars for each new sign up. Keep pushing friend and PayPal may indeed enrich you. Such fools are we!

How do you pay your credit card balance using a Paypal debit card (to earn the additional 1.5% rebate)? I called my credit card company (National City Visa) and they indicated that they did not accept debit cards for payment.

I recently received an offer from Farm Bureau for 2.99% on balance transfers.

Have you *carefully* read the offer's small print ? Look, among other things, for required minimum time to keep the card in order to be eligible for the rebate. I would also keep in mind that opening and closing accounts may hurt your credit rating, and that you cannot be assured how much your opening credit line will be (all the offers I have seen are of the *up to* variety).

Frankly, your trick is not very subtle. CC companies are not usually in the habit of handing out $150 prizes, and the chance that you have outsmarted them this time is .. remote.

The guy who talked about using his Paypal card to pay off his credit card balances. What credit card company do you have? Most card companies I know of take only three forms of payment: check, cash, e-payment through a bank. But never any debit/credit card payments.

Just received a card that in the next several weeks the Fleet Visa will be changing their rebates. I have 2% on charges over $8000 with a $500 max. I am sure they are not going to improve on this. Has anyone heard about the new rebate structure for Fleet?

PayPal... has been talked about on this board over and over again. Problems 1). Not a credit Card, does not report to your credit reports. 2). You have to send money there - takes at least 2-3 days. 3). no 800# to call customer service. 4). Not open 24 hours a day. 5). Difficult to dispute something 6). No Rental Insurance, Lost Luggage protection, Extended warranty. might as well use your check and cash card debit card form your bank. Many banks now days offer reward debit cards - US BANK offers some good programs.

In refference to the debt risk question. Banks are changing some of thier policy and how they define "risk" customers. The basic reason is - Delinquency is up, borrowing is down. Your high interest will make up for some one that charged off. If your debit to income ratio is more then 30% most likely you are a risk customer so expect your interest rate to change shortly. To calculate your debt to income: take the ammount you owe on your unsecured cards & loans (not your car, education or house) and devide that by your (personal not your wife, husbands, etc). Why you are a high risk? right now you can afford to make your payments every one is happy. But 30 cents on each dollar you earn has to go to your creditors. Add to that your living expenses, car, doctor bills, etc. So yes, now you can afford to pay your creditors. Now what happents if you loose your job, get a divorce or become injured. Most people do not plan for that, however, you will not! be able to make payments to your unsecured cards. and please dont say - well everything will be fine..... because you do not know that, and banks have to protect the risks and loses by making more money from you now, so that when you charge off/file for bko they still made up for the difference. Historicaly people with 30% or more debt to income have a high chance charging off with in the next 5-7 years. Because you have 30% now, but instead of paying it down you just keep spening, and spending till your debt to income is 70%. This of course depends on your situation. Of course there is a difference between 30% debt to income, to some one who is 70% debt to income. To get lowest rates pay down all your creditors, join CCCS, get a second on your home (or trailer). Make at LEAST 2x your minimum payment each month and dont miss even one month, do not take any offerers to differ/skip your payments. Minimum payments, high debt to income ratio, deliqnency with other creditors, u! npaid taxes, will all lead to high interest rates.

Will this Farm Bank give you rebate on balance transferes or checks? most rebates only work for purchases not checks, ATM, ACH or Bank OTC transactions

I have the AAA-Visa that pays 5% back on all gas purchased, so long as the card is swiped at the pump. I am NOT an AAA member. You don't have to be a member. The cash back is instant and appears with every purchase. The only bad thing is that there is no rebate on other purchases. Just gas. https://www.applyonlinenow.com/USapp/Ctl/redirect?CV_sourceCode=F9CU&CV_MC=A000000X0D

I got an offer from Citi for a Platinum Select Dividend MasterCard that will earn a straight 2% cash back until 6/1/04, after which it goes to 1% straight cash back on all purchases. Maximum of $300 in dividend dollars in any calendar year; when $100 in dividend dollars are accumulated, a check will be generated and mailed. The number is 800-813-7412. Not sure if I'll deal with this one though, as it is just half of one percent better than Amex cashback (basically, the best I could hope for is an extra $75 over Amex if I spend EXACTLY $15,000 in the first year with Citi).

By the way, concerning Amex cashback, like other posters I had assumed that everyday (gas, groceries, hardware) purchases would be counted "separately." However, after half a year with this card, I am definitely not up to the 3% level (>$6,000 of spending) for "everyday" purchases, and yet calculating carefully, I can see that I definitely already am getting 3% on everyday purchases, and 1.5% on non-everday (e.g., airline tickets, etc.). I had been noticing for the last few months that the cash back calculation on the statements was higher than I was expecting, so now I'm convinced that "everyday" and "non-everday" purchases are NOT calculated separately, but are additive. So this card is looking quite attractive. All together, I've spent about $24k to date, and my overall effective cashback rate is already up to about 1.4 percent , as opposed to the ~1.1% I was expecting by now (this takes into consideration the lower starting rates for the first few thousand of spending), so things are looking good. I expect that by my first anniversary I will be up closer to 2% overall, which is another reason I don't feel like fooling with Citi's teaser cashback rate.

Re: Free Delta American Express card? You mention on your analysis page that you have a free Delta American Express card where you get 2x miles on certain purchases. Which one of the Delta AX cards do you have? The only no annual free card on AX's site is the Delta AX Options card where you earn 1/2 mile per dollar and there is no 2x mileage for "Everyday purchases" (grocery, post office, etc.)? There is also a regular, gold and platinum Delta AX credit card. Can you please give me details on why/how your card is free?

[Sorry - that was a special offer!]

To the reader that mentioned the paypal debit card: I have one of those. Although it is a good tool for me, what people may not realize is that according to the paypal rules, the cardholder must have been a member for 60 days and have a personal/premier account (in other words, you get charged for every transaction coming in regardless of whether it is a credit card payment or not) as opposed to the free personal account. In addition, in order to get the 1.5% rebate, you must be enrolled in their prefered rewards program, which involves being a regular seller on ebay (at least one listing every three weeks) with paypal being the ONLY electronic payment service listed in your listings. It is a good tool however for those that qualify.

Please continue to the grapevine archive of this continuing Saga!

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